Korean J Anesthesiol.  2017 Jun;70(3):277-291. 10.4097/kjae.2017.70.3.277.

Does preoperative anxiety felt by patients requested to participate in clinical trials related to general anesthesia before elective surgery depend on temperament?

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. swj0208@hanyang.ac.kr


Preoperative anxiety may differ according to patient temperament. It will be increased when patients are requested to participate in a study involving anesthesia. The purpose of this study was to show that the anxiety felt when patients are requested to participate may differ according to temperament in both patients who agree and disagree to participate.
Three hundred and twenty-one patients over age 18 with American Society of Anesthesiologists 1 and 2 completed a survey questionnaire. The degree of anxiety was measured according to patient temperament. It was compared on the basis of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and visual analogue scale (VAS).
In the agreed group, the degree of anxiety measured by "usual, present STAI" and VAS in the monitors (those who want to know as much as possible about anesthesia and surgery) was significantly higher than that in the blunters (those who want to know as little as possible) (P = 0.041 for the "usual STAI", 0.017 for "present STAI", and 0.001 for VAS, respectively). Among patients with a lower educational level, the numbers of blunters and monitors were 57 (79%) and 32 (59%), respectively, indicating that the ratio of blunters was significantly higher (P = 0.026).
Both traits of patients in each group were influenced by psychological burdens. The anxiety of the monitors who agreed to participate was significantly higher than that of blunters. In addition to temperament, education level affects participation. Obtaining consent for participation by understanding temperament and considering factors that may reduce the participation rate will be required.


Anxiety; Clinical trial; Psychological stress
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